Shashi Tharoor resigned today as India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, failing to make it to even his first anniversary. No, it wasn’t something he tweeted that was his undoing — it was something someone else tweeted.
Mr. Tharoor was on the receiving end of a Twitter attack last week from Lalit Kumar Modi, chairman and commissioner of the Indian Premier League. …
The seeds of the current feud were sown in March when two new IPL teams were put up for auction. One of the teams, which will be based in Kochi in Mr. Tharoor’s home state, was won by Rendezvous Sports World. The group, which includes figures from India’s real-estate and cinema sectors, agreed to pay $333 million.
Three weeks later, on April 11, Mr. Modi sent out this on Twitter: “Who are the shareholders of rendezvous. And why have they been given this 100′s of million dollar bonanza?”
He revealed the names of the group’s shareholders later that day. The list included Sunanda Pushkar, a woman frequently photographed at social events with Mr. Tharoor, who is in the middle of a divorce from his second wife. [Wall Street Journal]
The would-be third wife stood to gain greatly from the Kochi franchise — or so it appeared — which caused an uproar from opposition parties and an Internet slowdown as millions of young men entered the search term “Sunanda Pushkar pics.”
Mr. Tharoor has denied accusations that he stands to benefit financially from his links to Ms. Pushkar.
“It has been suggested that I have indirectly received personal benefits from this enterprise because the Rendezvous management team, who hold stakes in the venture, includes a close friend of mine,” said Mr. Tharoor in a statement that he tried to make in parliament Friday before he was shouted down by other parliamentarians. He gave it instead to journalists outside. [Wall Street Journal]
So what’s next for Tharoor? Will he marry Pushkar? Will he remain in parliament? Will he write more books? And will John Abraham play him when the movie about his life is made?